Whats this writing near the label of my 45
June 10, 2005 5:10 PM   Subscribe

I picked up an old John Lennon / Yoko Ono 45 at a yard sale, and on the vinyl itself, written in the plastic, is "one world, one people". It looks hand written, and there are a bunch of numbers near it. What gives?
posted by quibx to Media & Arts (21 answers total)
Best answer: "All the way through your work, John, there's this incredibly strong notion about inspiring people to be themselves and to come together and try to change things. I'm thinking here, obviously, of songs like 'Give Peace a Chance,' 'Power to the People' and 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over).'"

"It's still there," John replies. "If you look on the vinyl around the new album's [the twelve-inch single "(Just Like) Starting Over"] logo - which all the kids have done already all over the world from Brazil to Australia to Poland, anywhere that gets the record - inside is written: ONE WORLD, ONE PEOPLE. So we continue.
posted by ericb at 5:14 PM on June 10, 2005

John's eleventh solo single.
John's first record since 1975 and released exactly five years to the day after "Imagine".
Now on "Geffen" records, this single was a precursor to "Double Fantasy" and came in a picture sleeve which is a section of the "Double Fantasy" cover.
The inner groove has an inscription of, "ONE WORLD ONE PEOPLE".

The song started life as a 1979 Dakota demo called, "My Life". John developed the final song during his 1980 sumer holiday in Bermuda.
posted by ericb at 5:15 PM on June 10, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the info about the song, I guess I was more interested in the process of writing messages inside of the vinyl. So I am to assume this was pretty common then, and not just some guy at the plant writing on records? Is there a term for this?
posted by quibx at 5:26 PM on June 10, 2005

There's definitely one guy (Porky) who was known for doing this, but I bet he wasn't the only one. Search for "A Porky Prime Cut".
posted by xil at 5:37 PM on June 10, 2005

a lot of records had things scratched into the vinyl ... usually the mastering number, but sometimes someone would add a little message ...

led zeppelin "iv", side two ... "pecko duck" is one
posted by pyramid termite at 5:38 PM on June 10, 2005

A lot of the indie rock 7"s I collected in the early-to-mid 1990s have messages like this as well, but unfortunately mine are all in the garage and I can't give you any examples off the top of my head.
posted by padraigin at 5:44 PM on June 10, 2005

I've heard them called scribe marks, and they're on the lead-out of the track, before the lock groove - that might help you with Google. Mostly it's a place for engineers to record data like the matrix number, but some have little messages there.
posted by Leon at 5:51 PM on June 10, 2005

"matrix number" is the term used to describe the number etched in that area by the person doing the masters. Loads of records have interesting words/phrases in that space.

er, on preview, what leon said!
posted by gluechunk at 5:57 PM on June 10, 2005

I miss vinyl.
posted by caddis at 6:24 PM on June 10, 2005

It's very common for vinyl records to have some sort of message or inscription in the run-out area. Mostly it's simply stampings made by the mastering people. Other times, as in your Lennon disc, it's a hand-writen message. It was always fun to open a new record to see if someone left a message for you. One of the things I miss about vinyl.
A couple of samples from my vinyl collection:
From a Subhumans EP..."PRAISE SUCKS"
From the Dead Kennedys Frankenchrist..."To Cope is to Cop Out" and "The Full Rich Flavor of Stark Reality"
posted by Thorzdad at 6:48 PM on June 10, 2005

These are often also called runouts.
posted by britain at 6:58 PM on June 10, 2005

It's only 20 quid extra to get runout messages when you're pressing vinyl, so I don't know why more people don't do it. Most plants offer it as a service. I used to imagine the people hand writing each one, but they obviously only do it once. Either on the lacquer (the 14" plates that are used to press the mother copy) or on the mother copy itself. Although obviously if you do it on the mother, you have to do it backwards.

The first record I put out had 'MORE MONEY THAN SENSE' printed into the runout, which amused us no end at the time.
posted by nylon at 8:06 PM on June 10, 2005

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's original 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken' had 'Remember The Opry'.
posted by DandyRandy at 8:16 PM on June 10, 2005

Camper van Beethoven's third album had something like "Soviet spies: swim upstream" scratched into it.
posted by interrobang at 10:48 PM on June 10, 2005

I have two records with what I think are particularly fine examples of this kind of thing, both complete sides of 12" LPs taken up with text or artwork. One is the b-side of Mirah's Storageland EP and the other is the 4th side of the two-disc vinyl version of Low's (excellent) Things We Lost in the Fire double-album.
posted by tew at 12:00 AM on June 11, 2005

"Where do you keep your stereo, Jer?" on the run-out to Terrapin Station by the Grateful Dead.
posted by fixedgear at 2:26 AM on June 11, 2005

A Tones on Tail record I used to play on the radio in college had the phrase DONT ROCK, WOBBLE inscribed there. It was advice that impacted me greatly.
posted by dontrockwobble at 6:08 AM on June 11, 2005

I might be mistaken, but I believe what you are seeing is a bit of laser etching that was done on vinyl records for a brief period in the 80's. Does that art have a somewhat prismatic sheen to it?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:11 AM on June 11, 2005

This is still pretty common e.g. on Radiohead's - OK Computer - the double LP has a hidden message on each of the 4 sides: eeny, meeny, miney, mo.
posted by Lanark at 11:28 AM on June 11, 2005

I remember these on led zep lps i had as a kid. One said "so mote it be" another had the sterling silver mark stamped into it. And I think one said "strawberry". Probably all had something to do with Aleister Crowley.
posted by vronsky at 11:59 AM on June 11, 2005

this askme has reminded me how much I loved that LP back then and that I should track it down again.
posted by mwhybark at 1:07 AM on June 12, 2005

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